Thursday, August 23, 2007



more a Vietnamese history scholar than a drag queen? You decide

Bush was allegedly in a coke hole for much of the Vietnam War, a war he "supported" but assiduously avoided, like most of the cronies and scumbags who make up his vile regime. Bush thinks other people should fight wars. Personally, he's a physical coward. Yesterday Crooks & Liars featured David Shuster's MSNBC analysis of Bush's infantile babbling comparing Vietnam and Iraq. But it wasn't just Shuster and the C&L crew laughing and sputtering over Bush's nonsense. Today's NY Times offers a look at how actual historians are looking at Bush's highly dubious claims.

Republican warmongers have never been happy that the American people demanded an end to the war of aggression against Vietnam, but, as the Times reminds us "The American withdrawal from Vietnam is widely remembered as an ignominious end to a misguided war-- but one with few negative repercussions for the United States and its allies." The far right's distorted interpretation of what happened infuses Bush's thinking reactions.
In reminding Americans that the pullout in 1975 was followed by years of bloody upheaval in Southeast Asia, Mr. Bush argued in a speech on Wednesday that Vietnam’s lessons provide a reason for persevering in Iraq, rather than for leaving any time soon. Mr. Bush in essence accused his war critics of amnesia over the exodus of Vietnamese “boat people” refugees and the mass killings in Cambodia that upended the lives of millions of people.

Bush neglects to mention that it was the America aggression in Southeast Asia that led to the creation of the murderous Khymer Rouge to begin with. But one historian points out that "The same thing has happened in the Middle East today. Foreign occupation of Iraq has created far more terrorists than it has deterred.”

Bush stepped even further off the cliff when he tried comparing his occupation of Iraq with American efforts in Germany and Japan after WWII. "But historians note that Germany and Japan were homogenous nation-states with clear national identities and no internal feuding among factions or sects, in stark contrast to Iraq today."
The comparison of Iraq to Germany and Japan “is fanciful,” said Steven Simon, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He noted that the American and allied militaries had eliminated the governments of Japan and Germany, and any lingering opposition, and assembled occupation forces that were, proportionally, more than three times as large as the current American presence of more than 160,000 troops in Iraq.

“That’s the kind of troop level you need to control the situation,” Mr. Simon said. “The occupation of Germany and Japan lasted for years-- and not a single American solider was killed by insurgents.”
Senior American military officers speaking privately also say that the essential elements that brought victory in World War II-- a total commitment by the American people and the government, and a staggering economic commitment to rebuild defeated adversaries-- do not exist for the Iraq war. The wars in Korea and Vietnam also involved considerable national sacrifice, including tax increases and conscription.

This morning's Washington Post points out that Bush's disingenuousness in drawing "an explicit link between Iraq and Vietnam comes as he seeks to marshal support for his war policy among Republicans and to blunt calls from Democratic members of Congress for a drawdown of U.S. forces in the coming months." I'm guessing most Americans would agree with Ted Kennedy when he pointed out that the ignorant and badly educated Bush "is drawing the wrong lesson from history." While Bush was doing everything he could to avoid going to Vietnam in the 60's, John Kerry was fighting in the jungles of Vietnam. Like his Massachusetts colleague, he pointed out that, as usual, Bush has gotten it wrong. “Invoking the tragedy of Vietnam to defend the failed policy in Iraq is as irresponsible," said Kerry, "as it is ignorant of the realities of both of those wars."

Even a relatively reactionary Democrat like Steny Hoyer, who has been a Bush enabler all along this disgusting episode, said that "If anything, an examination of history and the situation on the ground shows us the importance of creating a new direction in Iraq. We must initiate a strategic redeployment from Iraq so that we may focus our resources on the greatest danger-- the war on terror-- rather than keep our military mired in Iraq's sectarian war.”

Barak Obama, who, unlike most of the Democrats running for president, opposed the unprovoked attack on Iraq from the beginning, said that the “disastrous consequences described by President Bush are already in motion and are a direct result of a war that should never have been authorized.”
Obama added that Iraq’s problems cannot be solved through military means and that “the only way to reverse these consequences is to change course through a surge in our diplomatic and humanitarian efforts in Iraq and the region, and a phased withdrawal of our forces that puts real pressure on the Iraqi government to act.”

Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that Bush, “instead of providing the country with a history lesson... should be reevaluating his flawed strategies that have led to one of the worst foreign policy blunders in our nation’s history.”


No one ever increased George Bush of being a good student. His embarrassing school records are sealed, of course, but enough of his former teachers and fellow students have come forward to paint a picture of someone who was incurious, ignorant, and unconcerned. And yesterday the professor he quoted to shore up his idiotic statements comparing post-war Japan to Iraq said Bush's statement's were... idiotic.
A historian quoted by President Bush to help argue that critics of the administration’s Iraq policy echo those who questioned the U.S. effort to bring democracy to Japan after World War II angrily distanced himself from the president’s remarks Thursday.

“They [war supporters] keep on doing this,” said MIT professor John Dower. “They keep on hitting it and hitting it and hitting it and it’s always more and more implausible, strange and in a fantasy world. They’re desperately groping for a historical analogy, and their uses of history are really perverse.”

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At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RICH MAN'S WAR (a work in progress)

When first they suckered us into war
They promised it would be grand
We hear only the bugles at funerals now
Instead of a marching band

They tell us in so many ways
That they are in the right
The rich are quick to start a war
When it's the poor who fight

They claim we lost them Vietnam
Because we had no guts
This comes from valiant creampuffs
Who wouldn't risk their butts

It's up to us true patriots
Against those knaves and fools
Who strive to drag our country down
We'll never be their tools

Tell Mr. Bush and Cheney too
There's one job you've done well
You've proved this fish rots from the head
You both can go to Hell!

At 5:58 PM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

I am suprised you didn't bring up Bush's reference of "The Quiet American". Bizarre indeed.

At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No one ever increased George Bush of being a good student."


At 11:45 AM, Blogger dan said...

Umm.. great post (as usual). But I have to call you out on that photo caption.
To paraphrase Groucho Marx, calling Bush a drag queen isn't fair to drag queens.


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